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On Monday morning the Mesabi Miner was scheduled to be the first ship to leave Duluth/Superior to start the shipping season on Lake Superior. I watched all morning but there was no activity. Around noon the scheduled changed and the John G. Munson was now scheduled to leave around 3pm. My wife noticed that the Munson had pulled away from the CN Dock in West Duluth where it had loaded Taconite. We jumped in the car and drove down to Canal Park to watch it Leave the Harbor.


We were early and waited in the warm car while the Munson made its way down the harbor. In the mean time a small crowd of photographers had gathered to watch the first ship of the season leave the harbor.

John G. Munson 15-3-_3656

Typically when a ship sails under the Duluth Lift Bridge it blows its horn in a “long-short-short” sequence. It is a friendly salute to the Port of Duluth from the ship captain and is responded to by the lift bridge operator with the same sequence. As the Munson sailed under the bridge there was a long sequence of horns and cheers from the crew as the opened the shipping season.


As soon as the Munson was free of the ice surrounding the harbor entrance it must have accelerated because it started belching black smoke.


In contrast to last year the Munson arrived at the Soo Locks by Thursday.

One Comment

  1. Beautiful photos! I saw this ship in Escanaba this morning. Still coming in through ice.

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